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Pelham - Windham News | January 6, 2012 - 3


The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor


DES Marks 25 Years of Environmental Protection


On January 2, 1987, a notable event occurred in the state of New Hampshire’s efforts to protect its environment. Culminating years of legislative deliberations, a new environmental agency was created: the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES). So this year, 2012, marks the 25th Anniversary of the creation of DES and its service to the people of our state. DES has played a vital role in protecting and restoring our precious natural resources and public health, which are so critical to ensuring the wonderful quality of life that we all enjoy here in the Granite State. While efforts to address pollution problems seen in


New Hampshire and across the country predated the creation of DES, by 1987 there was broad recognition in New Hampshire that our state’s ecological health and economic well being were integrally connected and mutually dependent. As a practical business matter, the four separate agencies responsible for environmental permitting and regulation were merged to create DES (Te Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission, the Water Resources Board, the Air Resources Agency, and the Office of Waste Management). An important overarching goal of this action was to create a single agency that would operate in a more coordinated and consistent manner for the benefit of all of the new department’s many stakeholders. Early in its history, DES responded to environmental challenges unthinkable to many of us today. Many of New Hampshire’s wastewater plants were rudimentary in nature, sometimes resulting in raw sewage spilling into our rivers. Municipalities across the state disposed of their trash in “open burning dumps” with little regard to the toxic smoke. DES was responding to hazardous waste sites like the Gilson Road site in Nashua, a seven- acre sand and gravel pit where over 900,000 gallons of fluids containing a variety of toxic compounds were disposed of, contaminating the soils and groundwater. And we can’t forget the infamous Hunt Tire pile in Danville, NH. It was estimated that the site contained more than five million used tires, of which more than a million burned in a 1993 fire at this unpermitted facility.


Tankfully, over the last 25 years, our state has made


tremendous strides in cleaning up our environment. Trough responsible legislative and regulatory changes, we no longer witness things such as the Merrimack River changing colors based on which dye was used in the textile mills along the river. Te fact that our environment is cleaner and healthier than the one our parents would remember is our lasting legacy to the current generation and those that will follow. Tis legacy, however, requires vigilance and maintenance, even as science and technology continue to provide ever-better ways to monitor, protect and restore our air, water bodies and groundwater. Today, we strive to prevent contamination before it occurs, rather than simply responding to known contaminated sites. And, with public safety as a high priority, we train diligently to hone our emergency response capabilities. Tese preparedness efforts have proven invaluable as DES has assisted communities across New Hampshire in recovering from floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters in recent years. Importantly, many of the original goals set out by the enacting legislation are still at the heart of DES’s work today. We strive to provide excellence in customer service to all, whether a multi-national business looking to relocate to the state or a grandmother from Coos


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County who needs a copy of her approved septic system plan. We also work to provide real-time information to the public on the things that impact their daily lives, like the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the water testing results at a favorite public beach, or the status of a permit application. While we are busy at DES working to address the


environmental challenges of today and tomorrow, throughout 2012 we will be taking time to recognize and celebrate the wide-ranging successes of the past 25 years of environmental and public health protection and the dedicated, professional staff and our many partners in our communities, businesses and non-profits who have helped bring these successes about. We welcome and invite your participation as we celebrate our past successes and look ahead to the challenge of ensuring that New Hampshire will be an even better place to live, work and play 25 years from now.


Tomas Burack, DES Commissioner - Concord Believe in America,


Vote for Mitt Romney In November 2008, Americans elected Barack


Obama to succeed George W. Bush as the 44th President of the United States. Carrying promises of “hope” and “change,” and boasting a platform littered with empty promises, then-Senator Obama won his election handily. It is now January of 2012 - it has been three years


since President Obama stood upon the steps of the Capitol building to take the sacred oath of office. With unemployment rates nearing nine percent, a national debt of $15.1 trillion, gas prices revolving around $3.35 a gallon, and 62 percent of Americans believing that our economic situation is bound to only get worse, we have to ask - can we really afford four more years of an Obama presidency? Trough my experience researching and talking with friends and family around Hudson, it is obvious to me that Americans are looking for a real change in the way Washington is run. People are fed up with the Obama Administration’s irresponsible spending, sense of American inferiority, and unhealthy love of taxes and fees. Tey want a President who will cut taxes on working-class Americans, and allow them to keep and benefit from the fruits of their own labor; a President who will see to it that federal spending is reigned in, all while keeping the United States a shining beacon of hope and strength for generations to come; a President with a track-record of job creation and years of business experience; a President like Mitt Romney. As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt slashed taxes for middle-class families; he balanced the budget without the use of tax hikes, and slashed spending by nearly $3 billion in his first year in office. He has a strong track record of deregulation as Governor, overseeing the privatization of the Massachusetts auto insurance industry, calling for the much-needed privatization of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and helping to make Massachusetts a much friendlier climate for businesses to operate. Oh, did I mention that he did all of this successfully, all while fighting the liberal Massachusetts Legislature. Before his tenure as Governor, Mitt spent years as a business owner, consulting and advising companies and businesses. Unlike most competing firms, Mitt’s firm committed itself to seeing a job through to the end, and not just handing out empty advice to his clients. As such, Mitt saw success, and turned into a highly successful businessman with the credentials to lead


businesses in a positive direction. Upon his election as Governor, Mitt used these skills to lead Massachusetts forward. If elected in 2012, he will bring the same skills and experiences to the table in Washington, and will deliver real hope a change to the American people. Mitt Romney is a man American can trust. He


believes in America, and everything she stands for. He believes that through strength and leadership, we can restore America back to the days of Ronald Reagan. He is a pro-growth businessman with years of business experience, and I can’t think of any other man I would rather have defeat Barack Obama in 2012. Please vote for Mitt Romney


on January 10th, 2012. Believe in America.


Matt Haefner - Hudson Windham Helping


Hands Tanks all who Supported Mitten Requests


Windham’s Helping Hands would like to thank the community for its outstanding support of our annual Christmas Mitten requests. Many items were donated to our cause, which asked for gifts that ranged from clothing to gift cards. Tis year a special plea was made for mittens with teenage needs to be pulled and we are happy to report that an outpouring of help in that


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area occurred. Families struggling with a variety of issues had the burden of a stressful holiday season lifted and it was clear that the holiday spirit was alive and well in Windham.


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